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John's dad

I realize a lot of you that read this blog, know John & may not know what happened yesterday. So in an effort to not have to email/tell this story over & over again, here's a condensed version of what happened. Also, before I start telling the story, for any of you who don't already know, John's dad was found & is miraculously okay. Here's what happened.

John's dad, Shelly, was vacationing in Arizona & signed up for a 6am hike on Monday to take pictures of The Wave. John talked to him on Sunday night & Shelly said he was getting up at 3am to drive to the starting place for the hike. John didn't talk to him on Monday, but didn't think much about it. Shelly was supposed to have called his mother (John's Nana) on Monday night. He didn't call & when he still hadn't called by Tuesday morning, Nana called Sally, John's sister. So Sally called me at about 8am yesterday asking if she should be concerned.

Sidenote: John's dad goes off the grid a lot & Nana is known to freak out & send the police out to his house to make sure he's alive. Therefore, most alerts from Nana are taken with a grain of salt.

But this was different in that he wasn't just at home in Maryland, not answering his phone. He was in the desert in Arizona & no one had talked to him since Sunday night. Sally called his hotel & they confirmed that he hadn't slept there, but his stuff was still in the room. Sally then called the Park Rangers & they found his truck parked at the starting place for the hike he took on Monday. The Rangers found people that had been on the hike with him & they confirmed that he was there & that they saw him at The Wave. So presumably, he got lost at some point hiking back & had been missing since around 9am Monday morning. At this point, I left work & drove home to wake up John.

Once the Rangers found his truck, they initiated a search & rescue mission. They were to call Sally every hour with an update. This was around 11:30am. Hours went by with no word from the Rangers. We were all worried. John decided to fly out there. So I spent the next half hour packing a bag for John & I, not really knowing where we're going or how long we'll be there. Sally was going to fly out, too. She lives in Boston.

Literally, as we were booking the flight, Sally gets a call that they've found him. He's dehydrated & he appears to have a broken ankle, but he's alive. I think it was around 3:30pm when we got the call. I decided not to go, but John & Sally were still going, so I drove John to the airport. I think John got to the hospital in Utah about the same time his dad did. Shelly's ankle was broken in two places & he had to have metal plates surgically inserted, but he's basically fine. John is going to stay with him until he's released, then he's going to drive him to Nana's house in Albuquerque. Sally is flying in later to drive him home to Maryland. We're guessing John will be back at some point on Saturday. He really wants to be back for Joe's wedding on Sunday.

So that's it, in a nutshell. Thank you to the handful of people who knew this was going on & who called & texted us throughout the day (Jon, Matt, Carolyn, Ali, Tiffany, Lauren). Your support meant a lot to me & it really meant a lot to John. Special thanks to my parents, who left work & spent the day at our house, keeping John calm & offering advice, hugs & food as needed. We are incredibly blessed.

Update on John's dad

Tales from an Aggressive Brusher